This is an amazingly powerful book. I give a 5* review for this book.
It is set in Juarez a town on the Mexican US border. There are gangs, drugs, crime, violence, corruption, murder, illegal immigration, robberies and a constant battle for power. This is where Arturo grows up, he lives in a world where this is everyday life, in his little shack.
His friend Faustino comes to see him after an absence on 10 months, with Eva and her 1 month old baby. Faustino has been caught up in the gang world and needs the help of Arturo or he will be killed.
The story then starts to pick up momentum and we start to see a country where religion has a large presence, from Christ the King on Mount Cristo Rey with his arms outstretched, to, Santa Muerte known as the White Girl, the Saint of Death, a rebel angel who is worshipped by criminals, police, prostitutes, politicians and the army amongst others.
Belief has alot to play in this story, tests of faith follow Arturo as he winds his way through 36 hours, the time he has to save his friends. He is put into positions where he has a choice. These choices are to test him to his limit, will he commit a crime to save his friends? What will he have to sacrifice? Or will he sacrifice anything at all ?
Marcus Sedgwick does not hold back with this book, he discusses the brutel conditions people living in the border towns have to deal with in their normal everyday lives, but it written with passion and heart. It moved me to the verge of tears in places, it is emotional and strong.
Thank you very much Netgally, Hachette Children’s Group and Marcus Sedgwick for the chance to read this eARC. In returnI give my honest and unbiased review.
A potent, powerful and timely thriller about migrants, drug lords and gang warfare set on the US/Mexican border by prize-winning novelist, Marcus Sedgwick.
Anapra is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the Mexican city of Juarez – twenty metres outside town lies a fence – and beyond it – America – the dangerous goal of many a migrant. Faustino is one such trying to escape from the gang he’s been working for. He’s dipped into a pile of dollars he was supposed to be hiding and now he’s on the run. He and his friend, Arturo, have only 36 hours to replace the missing money, or they’re as good as dead. Watching over them is Saint Death. Saint Death (or Santissima Muerte) – she of pure bone and charcoal-black eye, she of absolute loyalty and neutral morality, holy patron to rich and poor, to prostitute and narco-lord, criminal and police-chief. A folk saint, a rebel angel, a sinister guardian.